Tansy Herb (Tanecetum vulgare) is a widely grown herb with a number of traditional medicinal uses, though most modern herbalists warn against its use by the unversed because the active constituents are toxic in large doses, and it is extremely difficult to judge the amount of thujone the most toxic of its elements, without a chemical analysis. The plant’s constituents and their toxixity strengthen as the growing season progresses which is why it is harvested in the Spring rather than the Autumn when it is considered safer tu use.
It is also known as Common Tansy, Bitter Buttons, Cow Bitter and Golden Buttons.
Traditional Uses for Tansy Herb:-
Its most common medicinal is as an abortifacient. A strong tea made of tansy leaves and flowers can cause miscarriage, and there have been reports of deaths in women attempting to use the tea in this way.
Aside from treating menstrual problems, Tansy Herb is useful as a vermifuge, treating worms in children, and as a poultice to treat skin infections. The volatile oil it contains can be toxic even when used externally, though, so care should be taken when using the herb for medicinal purposes.
Despite these warnings, Tansy is also used in cooking, and in small amounts adds a spicy tang to salads akin to cinnamon or nutmeg.
Constituents of Tansy Herb:-
Its constituents are Tanacetin, Tannic Acid, a volatile oil, mainly Thujone, waxy, resinous and protein bodies, and some sugar. Both the leaves and flowering tops are used.
Not to be used while pregnant and its use is only recommended under the supervision of someone qualified in the administration of this substance. Toxic in large doses, and it is extremely difficult to judge the amount of thujone, the most toxic of its elements, without a chemical analysis.